With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/16/2010, 1:06pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Primaries are over - is an (even more) brain dead Senate in our future?; 2010 tied for warmest ever --- so make like the walruses and head to the beach! (Or like the denialists and put your head in the sand); Louisiana's river of dead fish ... PLUS: The really, really, really final stretch for BP's oil well? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Monsanto hired notorious security firm Blackwater; PA Governor apologizes for tracing anti-drilling groups; Mexico's Push To Install 3,000 MW of Wind by 2014; Get the FAQS: Feed-in tariffs and renewable energy payments for homeowners; Deutsche Bank debunks deniers with new report; Giant solar-power plant development moves forward in CA; Judge orders Halliburton, KBR to face lawsuits over Iraq-Afgh. 'burn pits'; White roofs really DO save energy; FDA set to accept junk science for 'Frankenfish' ...PLUS: Creepy Science Behind Genetically Engineered "Frankenfish" About to Enter Our Food Supply Unlabeled ...

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Blackwatering the crops: Notorious agribiz giant Monsanto hired notorious security firm Blackwater (Grist):
    Jeremy Scahill, The Nation's ace investigative journalist who has been dogging Blackwater and breaking news on the shadowy company for years, has the goods. Monsanto hired the company in 2008, Scahill reports.
    ...
    In an email obtained by Scahill, a Blackwater operative who had talked to Monsato officials ahead of the hiring claimed that the security firm would "develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto" --- including infiltrating activist groups working to oppose it. The operative wrote hopefully of Monsato's "generous protection budget."
  • Pa. Governor Apologizes for Tracking Enviro Extremists, but Questions Remain (Pro Publica):
    Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said on Tuesday he was "deeply embarrassed [1]" by his Office of Homeland Security's use of a bulletin that labeled opponents to gas drilling as "environmental extremists" and said the information had come from an anti-terrorism consulting firm that produces information about potential threats to the state's security and infrastructure.
  • Mexico's Push To Install 3,000 MW of Wind by 2014: As the country works to harness the power of its strong winds, some experts wonder if the government is doing enough. (Renewable Energy World) [emphasis added]:
    With 300,0000 inhabitants, Oaxaca is a windy region in Southern Mexico resting 1555 meters over the sea. The wind is so strong that 7,000 houses lost their roofs when a cold front passed through this past February.
    ...
    Like Tejeda, Gustavo Camougnani, a Greenpeace campaigner, says the state must do more to support a domestic industry instead of allowing foreign firms to dominate in the market.

    "We need more of this energy to reach Mexicans, not just a bunch of rich corporates," he says, noting Felipe Calderon administration's current plans as having "little ambition."

    "Wind blows harder in Mexico than other countries and it's in fact much more abundant than in Spain. So why has Spain succeeded?" Cayuga asks. "They have invested, something that the Mexican government is failing do to because it still mainly sees itself as an oil producing country. It needs to change its mindset or it won't develop its renewable energy potential."

  • Get the FAQS: Feed-in Tariffs and Renewable Energy Payments: What are feed-in tariffs? Why are they important? And more... (Wind-Works.org)
  • New Lawsuit Filed in Fracking Country: More than a dozen families in Susquehanna County, Pa., filed a lawsuit against the Southwestern Energy Production Company, asserting that the company's nearby drilling sites contaminated their drinking water and made them sick. (New York Times)
  • Deutsche Bank Debunks Skeptics with a Report --- and a $5 Billion Climate Portfolio : Bank's investors, asset managers are primary audience of the study, which confirms long term threat of climate change and need for financial response
  • Giant Solar-Power Plant Development Moves Forward In U.S.: California regulators Wednesday approved construction of what will be the world's biggest solar plant, one of a string of super-sized developments in the state that will more than double the solar power generation capacity in the U.S. (Dow Jones)
  • Halliburton, KBR Ordered by Judge to Face Military Suits Over Pit Burning (Bloomberg News) [emphasis added]:
    Halliburton Co. and KBR Inc. must face lawsuits brought by military personnel and contractors allegedly harmed by contaminated water and toxic emissions from burning waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, a judge said.

    U.S. District Judge Roger Titus in Greenbelt, Maryland, who is overseeing 43 lawsuits on the matter, yesterday rejected the companies' claims of immunity for combat-related activities, saying he was concerned it would limit legal remedies for people who allege they were injured.

    "Courts must be prepared to adjudicate cases that ultimately expose defense contractors to appropriate liability," Titus wrote. The judge said he favored a "limited" pre-trial exchange of information in the case, to avoid burdening the military and its personnel in wartime.

  • White roofs promoted to save energy (Wall St. Journal):
    Herb Van Gent points his infrared gun at a square of still unpainted gray shingle and clicks the trigger. He gets an immediate temperature reading: 143 degrees and rising. Then he aims it 5 feet away to a square of roof I have just painted: 98 degrees and decreasing.

    He smiles.

    "A 45-degree difference and we're only on the first coat," he says. That means it also will be cooler inside the building, he says, saving energy.

  • Smells fishy: FDA set to accept junk science for 'Frankenfish' safety studies (Grist):
    These salmon, which contain growth genes from Chinook salmon as well as the ocean pout, are truly monsters. They grow faster and end up larger than normal Atlantic salmon. And they just received preliminary approval from the FDA; the final nod is likely to come in the next month.
  • The Creepy Science Behind Genetically Engineered "Frankenfish" About to Enter Our Food Supply Unlabeled:
    This salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to enter the U.S. food supply, and the science behind its approval process is frightening.